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The Walls of Orion by T.D. Fox

The Walls of Orion by T.D. Fox

Author:T.D. Fox
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Published: 2021-04-12T16:00:00+00:00


15. THE FUSE

“I CAN’T BELIEVE you put yourself in that situation. Again.”

Courtney pressed the cool rim of the beer to her lips, biding her time before she answered. She sat in Jasper’s small high-rise apartment. He paced in front of the couch.

Answering his call had been a mistake. She’d been numb, unthinking, when she jumped at the buzz of her phone in the silent alleyway and picked it up. Detective that he was, he'd gleaned too many details from her shaky voice before she thought to shut her mouth.

“You’re sure you didn’t get a good look at him?”

“Like I said,” Courtney said. “It was dark. And I didn’t get too close. All I heard was the whistling so I crossed the street and didn’t look back.”

“This was across from the café, right?” Jasper paused in front of her. “Was he tall? How was he built? Anything particular he was wearing?”

Courtney took another sip of the beer. “Short, I think. Couldn’t make out much; I think maybe he was fat.”

“Fat? That’s a first.”

Courtney shrugged. “I don’t know. You said it’s a group of people, so maybe this guy isn’t one of the those running-from-the-cops types.”

Jasper gave her a look. “Actually, I’m starting to agree with Oliver’s theory. This might all be the same person.”

“That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?” Her own words surprised her. An unknown, powerful desire to conceal and defend rose, reacting to Jasper’s bloodhound hunt for her friend.

Friend. Are you crazy?

Was she?

“Not really,” Jasper replied, oblivious to her silent wrestling. “Not when people shape-shifting all over the city isn’t a stretch.”

“Isn’t it possible someone else picked up the whistle? Like a copycat?” What was she doing? Why couldn’t she stop?

“This guy doesn’t have copycats. Everyone’s too scared of him. There are rumors that he’s everywhere. He could be any person, any place, wearing any face. We’re not even sure it’s a he.”

“That sounds a little paranoid.”

“I know. I thought the idea was crazy at first, too, but the more insanity I see in this city, the more it’s the only explanation that makes sense. Look at these vigilantes on the streets. They’re Changers, obviously. But they’ve got special abilities, at least more so than most. That one guy—the Bird-Man, or whatever the Orion Times nicknamed him—he only half-transforms. He’s got actual wings, but he’s still a human man who seems to have full control over his mind. Then there’s that other guy, the Orion Giant, who can turn himself into a super-sized MMA fighter. I don’t know how he does it, but he Changes differently than the other Changers. Somehow he can control his body, his every muscle and bone. He warps his body into something he controls rather than succumbing to whatever involuntary Change these other mutants go through. There are even rumors he can heal himself. I’ve seen him escape the cops in some of the closest scrapes imaginable, and he’s shaken off blows—gunshots, even—like it’s nothing.” He turned in his pacing, and shook his head with a little laugh.



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